|Someone Forced to Flee Their Home Every Second in 2016
Refugees have special status in international law, but if you're forced from your home and stay within your country's borders, you're classified as an "internally displaced person" – an "IDP" – with no guarantee of protection or assistance. There are at least twice as many IDPs as refugees at any given time, but internal population movements are fluid, of varying duration, and hard to track. Humanitarian support to IDPs often lacks the resources of better-recognised refugee operations.Read more: IRIN, http://tiny.cc/ndicly
Conflict forced another 6.9 million people from their homes in 2016. Syria has a huge number of internally displaced people, according to the estimates, but it's not the fastest-growing displacement crisis. Last year, more people were newly displaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo than in Syria. According to estimates by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, natural disasters forced 24 million people to move in 2016. Seven million of those were in China alone.
Germany Approves Deportation of Asylum Seekers Legislation
The German parliament has passed legislation making it easier to deport failed asylum seekers and monitor those deemed dangerous in a move that has been slammed by opposition parties and rights groups as an assault on the rights of refugees. In legislation passed by the Bundestag late on Thursday, German authorities will be able to detain refugees due for deportation for 10 days rather than four, and monitor by ankle bracelet those deemed potentially dangerous.The legislation also restricts freedom of movement for all failed asylum seekers. It grants the federal refugee agency BAMF and other government bodies more leeway to use and share data retrieved from migrants' mobile phones.
Refugee organisation Pro Asyl criticised the measures, saying that they robbed refugees of their right to privacy. "The agreed package of measures for tougher deportation policies is a programme that will deprive asylum-seekers of hope for protection in Germany and is aimed at discouraging them," the organisation said in a statement.
Read more: Aljazeera, http://tiny.cc/57ebly.
Prison Service Boss Hired to Manage Troubled G4S Detention Centres
G4S has hired the man in charge of negotiating private contracts for government prisons to run its troubled detention services division. Paul Kempster is expected to join the outsourcing firm later this month and will oversee the five prisons G4S manages for the Government, as well as two immigration removal centres and a secure training centre for young people.
Mr Kempster is currently head of custodial services contract management at Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, the part of the Ministry of Justice which manages prisons in England and Wales. As part of his role, he has been responsible for awarding contracts to private firms including G4S, Serco and Sodexo to run prisons in the UK. Work to privatise British prisons began in the Nineties.
However, outsourcing the running of offender services to private companies has not been without controversy. G4S has suffered amid high-profile scandals, including losing control of HMP Birmingham in December, which resulted in the most serious prison riot since inmates revolted at Strangeways in 1990. The incident caused an estimated £2m of damage and around 500 prisoners had to be moved. Last year it was revealed that G4S had been fined at least 100 times for breaching its prison management contracts, which it has held since 2010.
Read more; Rhiannon Bury, Telegraph, http://tiny.cc/pekbly
Lack of Solidarity Dogs EU Asylum Reform
European solidarity was in short supply in Brussels on Thursday (18 May) amid ongoing disagreement on how to overhaul asylum laws. Interior ministers met in the EU capital to discuss reform of the so-called Dublin law that determines which member state is responsible for processing an asylum seeker's claim. The Maltese EU presidency, which is steering the bill through the Council, representing member states, aims to reach consensus by the end of June, when its term at the EU helm expires. Malta's interior minister Carmelo Abela told reporters after Thursday’s talks that there was agreement on stepping up returns of rejected asylum seekers back home. But he added that “further work is clearly needed” on the rest of the file and that “we will be returning to the issue in June, evidently compromises are needed from all sides”. The meeting took place in an informal format, designed to help people gel, but Abdela said the talks were “frank” in nature, which is diplomatic code for prickliness and discord. "There is still no consensus in the Council. I don't hide to tell you I expressed my disappointment on that," said EU commissioner for migration Dimitris Avramopoulos. The European Commission tabled the Dublin reform bill last year, but Malta is looking increasingly unlikely to deliver an outcome.
Read more: Nikolaj Nielsen, EU Observer, http://tiny.cc/k4ebly
UNHCR Protection Manual
The Protection Manual is UNHCR's repository of protection policy and guidance. The Protection Manual is updated whenever a new protection policy or guidance document is published, and can thus be relied upon to represent the latest UNHCR protection policy / guidance. The Protection Manual is organized by theme/subject. Under each heading, the documents are arranged in reverse chronological order and are accessible through a hyperlink. Documents from external sources are generally not included (unless they provide guidance on protection-related topics that also applies to or has specifically been endorsed by UNHCR, such as interagency guidance). At the end of each subject heading, relevant related sources are listed, containing older guidance and documents which serve as background reading.